Hydrogen CVs can play a key role in London’s 2050 zero-carbon ambition, says TfL

ULMECO fuel cell for Nissan

Hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles could play a key role in London’s ambition to become a zero-carbon city by 2050, according to TfL.

Speaking at a recent LoCITY roadshow – developed to help freight operators learn more about hydrogen technology in vans and HGVs – TfL freight environment programme manager Fergus Worthy told delegates: “If you look at the mayor’s transport strategy that came out for consultation over the summer, you will see that the long-term vision for London is to be a zero-carbon city by 2050.

“To do that, we would need to have zero-emission transport across the capital by that date.”

He added: “From our understanding of technology on the market, or in development, there are really only two options that would be in scope on that date: battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.”

The electric vehicle market was now relatively mature, delegates heard, with the range of products on the market increasing, such as battery electric and range-extended vans and HGVs being developed and put into operation.

“We’re also starting to see the infrastructure to support those vehicles really standing up as well,” Worthy added.

Indeed, a LoCITY roadshow held earlier this year focused on the increasing number of vehicles available and under development for the road transport sector (such as the Fuso eCanter, pictured) as well as supporting charging points planned for the capital.

Regarding hydrogen, Worthy said the potential benefits were substantial: zero emissions at tailpipe; low well-to-wheel carbon emissions if produced in a sustainable way; long operational range; quick refuelling time; and the ability to help balance energy supply and demand in the system.

“But there are still some really big questions we need to answer,” he added.

“How will fuel cell technology work in heavy trucks? How can we make sure we get the right infrastructure in the right place in a space-constrained city? How can we make sure we can produce and maintain sufficient quantities of low carbon hydrogen to fuel these vehicles as well?”

LoCITY is therefore bringing together organisations in the hydrogen sector alongside the freight industry to collaborate, overcome these challenges and start to “shape what the future will look like”.

“And events like this are absolutely key to that process,” Worthy added.

Despite the long-term ambition for London’s transport parc to be fully zero emission, Worthy was keen to point out that other market-ready fuels – such as biomethane, renewable biodiesel and bioLPG- can all play an important role today thanks to their carbon-reduction and air quality benefits.

In September, LoCITY dedicated a workshop to highlighting the environmental and operational improvements that operators can find by adopting the latest generation of gas-powered vans and HGVs on their fleets.

Dft-supported real-world trials of gas-powered HGVs are also underway as part of the Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial, with major operators such as Wincanton, John Lewis Partnership and Kuehne + Nagel taking part.

LoCITY will also be focusing on renewable biodiesel and drop-in fuels, as well as bring together key learnings from its previous electric, gas and hydrogen roadshows in a large-scale event, Fuels in Action, to be held on 20 March 2018 at Kempton Park race course in Sunbury-on-Thames.

It is free to attend, but you must register your interest to take part.

LoCITY is a five-year, industry-led programme to help the freight sector understand the capabilities of alternative fuels, break down barriers to wide-scale adoption, and help encourage manufacturers to bring more vehicles to market.

Hydrogen roadshow, hosted by LoCITY

More than 100 people took part in a hydrogen roadshow held on 23 November at CEME in Rainham, Essex.

The event, hosted by the industry-led LoCITY prgramme, aimed to help freight sector and local authority fleet managers understand how hydrogen might work to fuel their own commercial vehicles.

Delegates taking part in the event were given an overview of hydrogen as a fuel and how it has started to become more viable for commercial vehicles by Robert Evans, CEO at low-carbon centre of excellence Cenex.

He explored different ways of producing hydrogen, with methods using wind and wave power the preferred, more sustainable option, as well as helping to answer any safety concerns operators may have.

Evans also took a look at vehicles on the market today, as well as some exciting new R&D and on-road trials taking place globally to enable hydrogen to be used in the largest lorries.

For example, in the US, Toyota is working with authorities in California to test a fuel cell Class 8 truck for drayage work at ports, while Nikola Motor Company recently unveiled its fuel-cell-powered Nikola One concept with a claimed range of between 800 and 1,200km.

Hydrogen London helped delegates understand the capital’s commitment to supporting hydrogen  as a fuel and highlighted current and planned infrastructure in place, which can be viewed on LoCITY’s online alternative fuel refuelling map.

Grundonw Waste Management DAFPartnership manager at Hydrogen London, Matthew Dear, looked at some of the latest CVs on trial in the capital, such as the Ulemco dual-fuel refuse lorry in operation with Grundon Waste Management around the Heathrow area (pictured).

He is also keen to encourage new vehicles, such as a fuel-cell-powered refrigerated van unveiled last month by Symbio FCell in France, to hit the roads in London.

“This looks fantastic,” he said, “as it avoids the auxiliary power [for the refrigeration unit] using diesel. It would be great to see these operating in London in due course”.

The Greater London Authority will also lead by example on their own fleet, delegates learned. New cars and small vans would be zero emission capable by 2025, while heavier vehicles would be fossil free from 2030 and the entire fleet zero emission by 2050, as per London’s city-wide ambition.

Delegates were given the opportunity to head outside and explore the various hydrogen vehicles taking part on the day, which included the Ulemco dual-fuel bin lorry and a Renault Kangoo ZE-H2 supplied by Arcola Energy.

Other vehicles in development included a full conversion of a 3.5-tonne panel van with an optimised fuel cell range-extended electric drivetrain, which would be completed by summer 2018 and deliver a range of more than 200 miles and a 1,000kg payload.

Arcola Energy also planned to adapt the powertrain it is developing for a zero-emission double-decker bus in London with Alexander Dennis for use in a 7.5-tonne truck. This would likely be completed by 2019/2020.

Delegates also took part in a demonstration of how quick and easy it was to refuel a hydrogen vehicle at the pump located at CEME and installed by renewable hydrogen firm ITM Power, which is working to establish a network of refueling sites across the UK.

Slide presentations from all the experts taking part in the LoCITY hydrogen roadshow can be downloaded free of charge online.


Increased electric vehicle adoption means rising need for safety features

Further expanding clean air zones will increase the demand for electric vehicles and hybrids, but the industry needs to address the dangers of low noise associated with electric powertrains.

Tony Bowen, LCV project manager at Brigade Electronics, told delegates at Freight in the City 2017 : “We have to understand how dangerous an unseen and unheard slow moving vehicle can be to vulnerable road users – small children, people with restricted eyesight, those of old age, etc.

“Drivers that drive electric vehicles are aware of the problem. Owners and managers of companies have a responsibility to provide drivers of these vehicles with the ability to reduce risk among these vulnerable road users.”

He said that Brigade had reacted to EU Regulation 138 – which has led to its Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System and will be introduced from 1 July 2019.

“What are we doing about this impending regulation? Using our industry expertise we have developed the quite vehicle sounder… increased frequency and amplitude as the vehicle speeds up, mimicking the behaviour of a combustion engine.

“It operates from 0-12mph (20kms) above 20kms, then tyre noise and wind noise takes over.”

Pre-production of its Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System begin from November 2017 with production units available for operation by the end of Q1 2018.

Hiab and Emoss to bring electric skiploader concept to Freight in the City Expo

Hiab and Emoss are to debut a fully electric skiploader concept vehicle at tomorrow’s Freight in the City Expo.

Hiab has fitted a Multilift Futura 12 skiploader body onto an Emoss EMS 18 series electric chassis with Hiab’s electric power take-off (PTO) system, making it 100% electric.

The electric PTO will also be showcased at the expo, which takes place at London’s Alexandra Palace tomorrow (7 November). It allows Hiab equipment such as cranes and skiploaders to be operated with the vehicle’s engine switched off.

Hiab product manager Alastair Evans said: “It’s clean and quiet, so would be ideal for early hours skip deliveries when builders need them in an inner-city residential area.

“This is purely a concept vehicle, but if the demand is there then it could certainly go into production.”

Hiab will also be showing its Moffett E4 electric truck-mounted forklift system on its stand (V07).

Microlise: ‘Big data can help freight sector boost road safety in urban areas’

The freight sector is on the verge of harnessing the power of big data to boost the safety and efficiency of their fleet movements in urban areas, according to telematics firm Microlise.

Speaking ahead of his appearance at next week’s Freight in the City Expo in London, Matthew Hague, executive director of product strategy, said: “We will see big data being used by transport service providers in our towns and cities within months, using it to improve the efficiency and safety of freight vehicle movements.”

He added: “Operators will gain the ability to accurately predict risk based on time of day and conditions, enabling street by street profiling.

“It will enable transport service providers to limit risk, thereby potentially reducing insurance costs and disruption to fleets and drivers.”

Microlise has been exploring the capabilities of using big data in fleet technology through a series of research projects over the past two years, supported by government funding.

The company already captures several billion miles worth of road data each year, however it said putting this vast amount of information to good use can be the challenging part.

“How to glean useful information from an ocean of data is a challenge, but new technologies and techniques are enabling us to scale up and process large data sets in a quick and agile way,” said Hague.

One of Microlise’s Innovate UK-funded projects, in partnership with the University of Nottingham, was to achieve customer and market value from high volumes of complex data generated through real-time telematics.

This has now been completed and Microlise said it will soon be in a position to incorporate this research into new products designed for the freight sector.

Innovate UK: ‘Embracing new technology helps freight operators stay competitive’

Freight operators must keep pace with emerging technology to remain competitive, according to the newly appointed ultra-low-emission vehicle lead at Innovate UK.

Speaking to Freightinthecity.com, Venn Chesterton said the growing number of competing demands on the freight sector – such as CO2 reduction, air quality regulations and on-demand deliveries – mean operators need to innovate to remain viable.

“You simply cannot be the operator you were a few years ago and survive in this market,” he added. “Operators are now looking for things to help differentiate themselves from their competitors.”

Chesterton was appointed to Innovate UK – the government’s innovation agency – in October to help support the UK automotive industry’s transition towards ultra-low-emission vehicles.

“There are so many drivers out there pushing people towards an ultra low-emission vehicle,” he said.

“Whether it’s cities or countries putting in plans to ban the sale of diesel vehicles, or to charge significant amounts to enter a city, it’s all coming forward.”

Ultra-low-emission passenger cars have already started to see market penetration, and Chesterton believes a similar pattern is now emerging for the freight industry.

“The technology is rising and is finding its way into the freight sector,” he said.

“There are some real, genuine alternatives to the ICE available right now, as well as a lot of R&D happening from a technology point of view: for example, batteries have become more energy dense and gas engines are able to run at a higher torque.”

However, such technology is more challenging to develop for the freight sector due to the complex specification of many commercial vehicles designed for specific job functions.

Chesterton will be talking about the UK’s leading automotive R&D work at Freight in the City Expo on 7 November in London, a conference and exhibition dedicated to sustainable urban deliveries (pictured).

He said: “Over the past three years, Freight in the City Expo has really established itself as an important event for the industry.

“Operators want to differentiate  themselves from their competitors and events like this give people the opportunity to keep pace with industry.”

Renault Trucks returns to Freight in the City with latest vehicles to meet the urban challenge

Renault Trucks returns to Freight in the City Expo this year with a set of new vehicles designed to meet the challenges of the urban environment.

The manufacturer is showcasing the brand new C320 8×4 Tridem in 2.3m cab variant on stand V01 along with the Range D18 4×2 R Low 250 E6 with a Boughton skiploader body.

The Range C320 Tridem (pictured below) delivers the load capacity of an eight-wheeler with the manoeuvrability of a six-wheeler and comes with factory-fitted extra axle adaption.

Its smaller, lower cab has a factory-fitted vision window and short front overhang allowing greater manoeuvrability and vision in congested urban environments.

A rear-lifting axle delivers a narrower turning circle which also keeps the truck closer to the kerb when turning left, compared to traditional 8x4s, reducing the high-risk area for cyclists when turning.

The Range D skiploader (main picture) includes two-step access with a step height of just 375mm. Equipped with a factory-fitted vision window in the nearside door, the vehicle is specified with a full CLOCS safety system, including cycle sensors and the Roadcrew 4 camera system with recorder.

Nigel Butler, Renault Trucks commercial director, said the urban concept C2.3 Tridem is particularly suited to the construction, logistics, distribution and refuse sectors.

“The combination of the low cab with the tridem rear axle lends itself to use as a walking floor tipper, a concrete mixer or a rigid distribution model where the urban concept’s weight advantages and manoeuvrability will be of particular benefit to operators working in constrained urban environments,” he added.

Meanwhile on stand V53, visitors to the show can see the new Renault Trucks Master Welfare Van and the Master Optilogistics Van on display, both of which are from Renault Trucks’ ‘Ready for Business’ range.

Freight in the City Expo takes place on 7 November at Alexandra Palace, London. It is free to attend, so why not register for your pass today!

Calor to unveil a world first for electric truck market at Freight in the City Expo

Calor Gas will be unveiling the world’s first liquid petroleum gas (LPG) range extender for an electric, rigid cylinder truck at this year’s Freight in the City Expo.

The new truck, built in partnership with Dutch electric vehicle manufacturer Emoss, has been developed in response to the government’s air quality and emissions-reduction strategies.

It uses LPG to drive the vehicle’s electric generator, which charges the battery supplying the motor with electricity.

Calor, a major UK  supplier of LPG and LNG to the transport industry, believes that as proposals for clean air zones and zero-emission zones gather momentum, vehicle OEMs will look to use range-extending technology to make electric trucks viable for fleet operators.

Compliant with the latest emission requirements, Calor said its LPG range extender will deliver lower carbon emissions than petrol and provide the capability to increase a vehicle’s battery-only range up to 250 miles.

The technology also offers the opportunity for geofencing to cut emissions to zero when operating in city centres.

Calor added that BioLPG, which is due to be available in early 2018, offers “even more significant environmental benefits over existing range-extension technologies, such as diesel and petrol”.

Chemically identical to conventional LPG, but created from renewable, ethically sourced feedstocks, BioLPG will play an important role in improving the LPG range extender’s environmental credentials further still in the future.

Paul Blacklock, head of strategy and corporate affairs at Calor, said: “As the UK government continues to put pressure on the transport industry to find cleaner ways of operating, the new LPG range extender with EMOSS presents an exciting opportunity for rigid trucks.

“With trucks fitted with LPG range extenders able to switch entirely to electric when operating in city centres or air quality zones, while already offering improved emission performance when compared with conventional fuels, we are excited to announce this ground-breaking transport innovation.”

Those attending Freight in the City can find out more about the technology on Calor (SO1) and EMOSS’ (V39) stands at the event.

  • Freight in the City, which this year also features the annual LoCITY conference, takes place on 7 November at Alexandra Palace. It is free to attend and features a full day’s seminar programme and a large exhibition of the latest urban trucks, vans and technology. Register today!



Wilcox ENERGYA concrete mixer set to electrify Freight in the City Expo 2017

Wilcox Commercial Vehicles is set to cause a stir at Freight in the City Expo 2017 with the ENERGYA series truck concrete mixer that cuts fuel use, noise and emissions.

Unlike traditional truck mixers where drum movement is generated by a hydraulic system, Cifa’s ENERGYA truck mixer is powered from its own rechargeable lithium-ion batteries which are independent to the chassis engine.

ENERGYA truck mixers are equipped with a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS), which allows energy recovery during vehicle deceleration. The batteries can also be charged from both the power grid and through a generator powered by the diesel engine on the truck, allowing the truck mixer to be fully operational, even if the batteries are dead.

Jamie Boyce, Wilcox area sales manager, said this makes the mixer particularly suited to congested areas with high traffic levels.

“Concrete mixers need to be kept rotating to keep the concrete mixed while on route to the delivery site,” he said. “With the mixer being independent to the chassis engine, when in congestion or waiting to discharge, the driver can cut the engine without affecting the mixer or the load being carried.”

A recent trial run by Cifa showed a saving of 3,600 litres of fuel and more than 9,500kg of Co2 with the ENERGYA mixer creating no Co2 emissions and less than 10db of noise when in operation.

Boyce added: “The batteries can be recharged in around three hours from a power source, but they also recharge through the KERS from the braking system of the chassis.

“By just operating in traffic with frequent stopping and starting, the mixer can stay recharged for a whole day through the KERS system.”

Freight in the City Expo takes place on 7 November at London’s Alexandra Palace. It is free to attend, so why not register for a pass today!


Bradshaw to electrify Freight in the City Expo with Goupil vehicle showcase


Freight in the City caught up with Drew Bradshaw, joint MD at Bradshaw Electric Vehicles to hear what they’d be exhibiting on stand 31 at the London expo on 7 November.


Which products and services are you planning to promote at the show and why?

Bradshaw is showcasing the new range of Goupil Electric Road Legal Vehicles. They’re designed especially for inner city last mile delivery and service operations. They’re compact, with great manoeuvrability, excellent range and zero emissions.

Are they unique?

Yes! These are innovative European-manufactured commercial vehicles, featuring a modular design that allows a multitude of body types to be fitted. It means there’s a huge range of options, including a Pick-up, Tipper, Pressure washer, Leaf collector, Waste collector, Cage body, Van body and more.

We introduced the range earlier this year to the UK. They are designed from the ground up as 100% Electric Vehicles and made by Goupil, part of the Polaris Group.

For more than 60 years, the Polaris brand has been synonymous with making high quality, breakthrough products – which is a big part of why we love working with them!

Who are you trying to reach with your products and services?

Any commercial customer with a requirement to move loads up to 1200Kg, or carry out cleaning operations.

What is their relevance to urban transport?

The Goupil range offers excellent on-road driving characteristics for inner city applications:
compact size; silent; zero emissions; N1 & L7e road approval;payload up to 1,200kg; max speed of 31mph; range 50 miles; tight turning circle; lithium-ion battery option for even faster recharge; 11 models, many options available

Transdek to Duet at Freight in the City Expo

Transdek DUET

Transdek UK is highlighting the environmental and cost saving benefits of its Duet urban double-deck trailers on stand 9 at this year’s Freight in the City Expo.

The expo takes place on 7 November at London’s Alexandra Palace and Transdek will be showing its urban trailers, which it claims can carry up to 107% more freight than standard 18-tonne rigid trucks.

Transdek will have two 10.6m Duets on show; an ambient trailer and a multi-temperature trailer. The latter includes a number of specialist quiet features suited for out of hours deliveries in the convenience and grocery retail sectors.

Both models have a tighter turning circle and better maneuverability than rigids without steering axles, according to Transdek.

Mark Adams, MD at Transdek, said: “As a company we are committed to developing supply chain solutions that help drive down the number of deliveries required in urban centres and provide a sustainable distribution model.

“We feel strongly that double deck trailers designed for the urban environment can make a significant impact on cutting the number of vehicles in towns and cities thereby slashing emissions.”